The Cricket World Cup captains pick favourites to win tournament
The captains from the ten teams that will be competing against each other in the ICC Cricket World Cup picked their favourites to win the coveted trophy in an interview.
Home team captain Elon Morgan believes it will be an extremely competitive tournament among the ten best teams in the world. This is why he thinks it is harder to determine which one will come out on top.
“I’ve no idea, I don’t think there’s anybody that’s head and shoulders above everybody else. In a 10-team World Cup, the ten best teams in the world, it’s going to be an extraordinarily competitive tournament. And I think there will be some quality cricket played. We’re really looking forward to playing.”
Morgan added that he thinks playing at their home ground will be an important factor which would help them bag the World Cup.
“Of course, being at home will be a factor. It’s called home advantage for a reason. We get to spend a lot of time in our own beds, we’ll see a lot of our families, and get to prepare like we have done for a number of years now. But England’s a great place to come and play cricket, if you ask any of these guys or any of their players, they love coming here and playing.”
Australia’s team captain Aaron Finch thinks the running favourites for the competition are England and India because they have been in great form over the last couple years and have been standout performers.
“I think it’s important that some of our guys have got that World Cup experience and having, I think, six players who have been a part of a winning World Cup will hold us in good stead going forward, hopefully. But it’s a different tournament and, once you get out and start playing, the pressure takes over. So it’ll be a great tournament,” Finch continued.
On the other hand, India team captain Virat Kohli agrees with Finch that England is the favourite for the World Cup because their condition gives them the biggest advantage in the tournament. However, Kohli also agrees with Morgan that it will be a challenging tournament because every team are well-balanced and strong.
“I think that’s going to be the best thing about this tournament, I see this as probably one of the most competitive World Cups that people are going to see,” said Kohli.
South African team captain Faf du Plessis said it will be a competitive competition that they are all excited to play in. “If you look at international cricket right around the circuit, you’ll see very close competitive series home and away. It’s not just more home teams that are dominating. So, like the other captains are saying, I think all of us are really excited to try this new tournament, with everyone playing everyone once. I think it’s a great tournament.”
West Indies captain Jason Holder agrees with the others that playing against every team is great and whoever wins the World Cup in the end is sure to deserve it.
Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed is confident his team can win the World Cup. “Definitely if you’ve seen the past results of Pakistan teams in England – I’m talking about the 1992 Test series,or the 1999 World Cup or 2017 (Champions Trophy) – Pakistan has been very good in England. So we are very confident, in’shallah, we will do very well.” However, Ahmed also agrees with Morgan and Kohli that the teams are well-balanced so it will be a great tournament.
Same with Pakistan, Bangladesh team captain Mashrafe Mortaza also believes their team has a great mix of players which makes it possible for them to win the trophy.
Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne believes they also have a good chance to win because of their experience. Additionally, they arrived in England earlier to get used to the place before the tournament starts.
Unlike others, Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naid simply hopes his team can perform well in the matches. He explained they are proud to represent their country because he believes cricket has been a big part of the peace in their country.
“There are a few guys who were in the last World Cup, which is great, so there is some experience there. But naturally, with four years in between tournaments, there are a lot of new players as well,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said about the upcoming tournament.
“I guess there’s been a lot of talk around rankings, favourites, underdogs, but I think the thing that stands out is how balanced all the teams are and, when it comes to the day, anything can happen, which makes the way for a really exciting competition,” Williamson continued.
The World Cup starts on May 30 and lasts through July 14, ending on Lord’s Cricket Grounds.